Custodial Services Programs

Custodial Leaders receive cleaning awards 2019

Read our story Custodial Services Wins National Cleaning Industry Awards (PDF) to learn how this expert team achieves the highest national standards for their cleaning program, benchmark-worthy staffing and implementation of cleaning processes that are also safe and environmentally responsible.

We're Sustainable

Custodial Services is committed to using sustainable products and processes. Our green cleaning program is achieved through the use of a comprehensive, high-performance cleaning management system, (OS1).

OS1 Standardized Process

Custodial Services is one of many Operating System 1 (OS1) users in North America. OS1 (developed by ManageMen®) is a standardized cleaning process which minimizes the amount of equipment and cleaning agents that we use on a daily basis. It includes strategically designed workloads for each team member, ergonomic equipment, and environmentally friendly materials with an emphasis on safety.

Team Cleaning

Cleaning work can be assigned either by space (zone cleaning) or by task (team cleaning). With zone cleaning, each cleaning worker is responsible for cleaning a specific area— from vacuuming to cleaning restrooms. In team cleaning, the work is divided into tasks and performed by specialists—light duty specialist, vacuum specialist, utility specialist and restroom specialist. In 2001, Custodial Services transitioned from zone cleaning to team cleaning.

The functions of each type of specialist are described below:

Light Duty Specialist

  • Empty trash, recycling bins and reinstall liners
  • Clean telephones, chalk trays
  • Dust all appropriate horizontal and vertical surfaces – high and low
  • Pick up paper clips, paper and pencils from floor
  • Spot clean surfaces – door, push plates and glass
  • Spot clean wall and fixture marks and dirt

Vacuum Specialist

  • Check the waste basket in each office
  • Vacuum all traffic areas
  • Spot vacuum all other areas
  • Vacuum crumbs, ashes, other spills on furniture
  • Reposition all furniture correctly
  • Turn out lights upon completion of a room
  • Secure area as required

Utility Specialist

  • Police stairs and vacuum stairwells
  • Clean glass
  • Polish brass
  • Pick up trash on specified floors
  • Spot carpet
  • Clean 1st impression areas
  • Clean high visibility carpet
  • Haul trash to dumpster

Restroom Specialist

  • Refill toilet tissue dispensers
  • Refill all other dispensers
  • Empty restroom trash
  • Clean and disinfect all fixtures and mirrors
  • Spot clean and disinfect partitions and doors
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Turn out the lights

Fitness Program

Custodial Services at The University of Texas at Austin does more than keep our buildings in top shape.  As time goes on, many of us find it harder to stay healthy. With hectic schedules we often forget to take care of ourselves. Custodial Services has decided to focus on the well-being of our employees by taking a few minutes to prepare them physically and mentally for the start of their work day.

In the fall of 2010, Custodial Services began working with the university Kinesiology Department’s Fitness Institute of Texas (FIT) to create a program specifically for our custodial staff. Like most universities, we are fortunate to have many resources available to us to supplement our expertise in a multitude of areas. Following a few visits with the Kinesiology Department’s FIT staff we embarked on a cooperative effort to develop and implement a program aimed at reducing workplace injuries.

Development included looking at job descriptions for each function that is performed, then interviewing and observing our staff in action, and finally running some trial programs to see what did and didn’t work for our staff. The goal of the warm up program is to prepare our employees for the demands of the job and help reduce the risk of injury.

Our Award-Winning FIT Start Program:

Our program was the recipient of APPA's Effective & Innovative Practices Award. The APPA award recognizes programs and processes that enhance service delivery, lower costs, increase productivity, improve customer service, generate revenue, or otherwise benefit the educational institution.

FIT Start Videos

Keeper of the Maces

Custodial Services does more than clean. We are also responsible for the upkeep and scheduled use of The University of Texas at Austin maces. The University has a collection of ceremonial maces that are carried at official occasions of the institution, such as Commencement and Honors Day. The original three maces, the Progenitors, were crafted by Professor Carl Eckhart in the spring of 1956 using wood preserved from the original Old Main building and were used for the first time in the Commencement exercises conducted on June 2, 1956. Professor Eckhart designed and fabricated 38 maces, in addition to the three Progenitors, representing the University and the University's various schools and colleges. Professor Eckhart's 41 maces comprise the original collection. Subsequently, seven more maces have been added to the collection, bringing the current total to 48. The mace collection is kept on regular display in the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL).

Information on Carl Eckhart  

UT Commencement History and Traditions

UT maces displayed in cabinet

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the maces, please read the e-booklet below:

Download: The Maces of UT Austin Booklet (PDF, Large)

Extensive Training & Education

Custodial Services’ Training & Compliance branch has been instrumental in maintaining OS1 and ensuring all employees receive compliance training. It is important that our custodial staff understand the environmental impacts they may have within the campus buildings. For that reason, we not only train employees how to do the work, but why we do it. 

New Employee Orientation and Compliance Training

New Custodial Services employees are thoroughly trained before they begin directly serving the campus. The trainers cover compliance, employee health and safety, inclusiveness, department orientation and cleaning processes. Hands-on training takes place in the field during the probationary period with their designated crew leader. The training team conducts regular visits to reinforce training and ensure trainees apply classroom training in the field.

Continuing Education

Our training department strives to provide ongoing training out in the field as well as in the classroom. This ongoing training provides management the opportunity to communicate expectations and benchmark successes of the training program. These retraining sessions also identify areas of education and training that need adjusting to improve service to our customers.

Custodial team member training